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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Thursday, April 30, 2015


From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author of A Deadly Wandering comes a pulse-pounding technological thriller—as ingenious as the works of Michael Crichton and as urgent and irresistible as an episode of 24—in which one man has three days to prevent annihilation: the outbreak of World War III.

Computer genius Jeremy Stillwater has designed a machine that can predict global conflicts and ultimately head them off. But he’s a stubborn guy, very sure of his own genius, and has wound up making enemies, and even seen his brilliant invention discredited.

There’s nowhere for him to turn when the most remarkable thing happens: his computer beeps with warning that the outbreak of World War III is imminent, three days and counting.

Alone, armed with nothing but his own ingenuity, he embarks on quest to find the mysterious and powerful nemesis determined to destroy mankind. But enemies lurk in the shadows waiting to strike. Could they have figured out how to use Jeremy, and his invention, for their own evil ends?

Before he can save billions of lives, Jeremy has to figure out how to save his own. . . .

Author Bio:
Matt Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning technology reporter for the New York Times. He is the author of A Deadly Wandering and the novels The Cloud and Devil's Plaything. 

Matt lives in San Francisco with his wife, Meredith, their son, Milo, and daughter, Mirabel. He’s an avid tennis player and recreational athlete; a prideful maker of guacamole for parties; and periodic (and not good) songwriter. Matt grew up in Boulder, Colorado, the son of two avid readers, attended Boulder High School, and obtained a bachelors degree in rhetoric from University of California at Berkeley and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University.


Jeremy Stillwater is a top-level genius with a magnificent higher education and what is likely high-functioning Asperger's. He's invented computer algorithms to adjudge the probability and locations of conflict. That brought global recognition and investment, until a spectacular military predictive failure. Now his friends and partners have become embittered and greedy enemies. So be it, Jeremy decides--until his patented program predicts complete global apocalypse--its epicentre San Francisco--its commencement: 72 hours.

Like Neal Stephenson, Matt Richtel grasps the pulse of the technological revolution and the directions it is likely to impel us. But he also understands psychology, and in Jeremy he presents an unusual but compelling protagonist.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tour: ALL,THIS TIME by Tiffani Burnett-Velez

REVIEW: ALL THIS TIME by Tiffani Burnett-Velez

ALL THIS TIME is a fascinating and powerfully impacting story, exposing not only depths of character psychology, but also culture canyons and the travails of wars. Lydia is a very strong heroine, diligent, determined, and of strong moral fiber. I applauded her throughout the story, as she never once lost sight of her goal and her truth. I'm anticipating reading more by this author.

Title: All This Time
Author: Tiffani Burnett-Velez
Publication Date: April 3, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope

Syrian-American, Lydia Fadoul, has spent a year waiting for her fiancé to return from war in Iraq, only to discover that he is broken by trauma and the devastating effects of PTSD. Just when he finally agrees to seek help, he takes his own life and leaves behind a story of murder, betrayal, and mystery.

In her second, contemporary fiction novel since Budapest, Tiffani Burnett-Velez weaves a fast-paced literary tale about the rumors we believe and the prejudices we create in order to protect our hearts from the truth.


Goodreads | Amazon | B&N



Author Bio:


Tiffani Burnett-Velez has been a freelance since 1996. Her non - fiction work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in the US and Europe, including Pennsylvania Magazine, Country Discoveries, St . Anthony Messenger,, Yahoo! News, and many more online and in print publications.


Her first novel, Budapest, was featured in the New York Book Festival and the 4 2nd Annual Conference of Jewish Librarians and it's re-release became a 2014 Amazon Bestseller in Literary and Inspirational Fiction.


Her second contemporary novel, All This Time, will be released by Booktrope in 2015, and the second, A Berlin Story, in her bestselling WWII novella series, Embers of War, is an Amazon Historical German Fiction Bestseller.


She has studied English Literature at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania and holds a BA in Cognitive Science from Ashford University. She is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing.


 Author Links:

Twitter | Website Goodreads


Guest Post by Tiffani Burnett-Velez


An Extreme Case of Battleshock

By Tiffani Burnett-Velez

In 2012, there were more suicides by active duty servicemen and women than there were combat deaths. Every 65 seconds, one of our brave soldiers commits suicide (Haiken). For every American, this is troubling, this is disturbing, but we don’t always know what do about it. The feelings of helplessness when anyone takes their own life is intense, but when those trained to protect and serve their country finally just give up and leave this world of their own volition, it is even more devastating.

I pondered this subject quite a lot when I began working on themanuscript for All This Time, which I started in the spring of 2011. That year, my family experience some trauma of our own, and it changed who each of us were. We’ll never go back to the parents, the children, we were before those events, but we have come through the other side. I know there were times when everything seemed very desperate to me, and I remember layingin bed and realizing, for the first time, that I was incapable at that moment of inspiring my family’s happiness. That’s a hopeless feeling. That happiness was something each of us had to discover for ourselves.

My own uncle committed suicide several years before that, and I was reminded of that sense of loss, as well, while I watched my children and husband endure our own troubles. The questions I had from his suicide informed my thoughts at that momentHow do we help our loved ones who are on the edge, on the brink of leaving us because they just can’t take anymore? The answer is not a simple one. Even when we offer the most far reaching aid, a well-spring of support, sometimes, it is just not enough to cover the pain a soldier has endured. This is where faith comes in, for me, at least. I pray even before all else fails, but that does not mean that I can save everyone I love who needs saving.

I come from a military family, from a long line of American veterans leading all the way back the Revolution itself. A Burnett has served in every war the United States has engaged in since the late 1700’s, and there has been a lot of PTSD within our clan.

In the Civil War, one of my third great grandfathers experienced a head wound at the Battle of Seven Pines, and was partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. He spend the remainder of the war at Chimborozo Hospital struggling with what his doctors called “soldier’s melancholy”. The physicians who cared for him reported that he needed special care, because at night he would have “all manner of terrors” and was “unable to find a restful sleep”. Someone wrote in ironically neat and flowery handwriting, “Under a severe state of battle shock”.

These words stand out to me when I read statistics like the ones above, and my heart breaks for the grandfather dead and gone 40 years before my birth. He lived until the early 1930’s, well into his 90’s, and people spoke of his sometimes frail state, of his shakiness, of his inability to render the war over in his senses, because he felt the triggers deep in his nervous system for the rest of his life.

When I wrote out the modern day effects of PTSD onto Pvt. Thomas Miller, the Marine who commits suicide in my novelAll This Time, I thought of all the men I have loved who have endured the scars of battle. I thought of both of my fathers – my biological father and my stepfather – and how war changed them both irrevocably when they were called to it in the 1960’s.

There’s a brilliant essay by writer, Tim O’Brien called The Things They Carried, and nothing has ever better expressed, in my opinion, that glassy-eyed stare of desperation that comes over the faces of those who have seen death up close on numerous occasions. In war, soldiers pack on the weight and continue to add to it even at war’s end. It’s how PTSD works. Yes, there are treatments, and many are very effective, but if every politician were to stop and consider how this young woman, this young man, will be permanently changed by having to fight for his or her own life, or worse, to take another’s, I believe they’d be less likely to send out war decrees.

I wish I could have a moment with Congress the next time theyeven considered sending our young people off to war. I’d hold up the grainy image of my third great grandfather’s service record and I would read the words his own surgeon wrote in 1862 as a warning for all our US service men and women. I would read it out loud, and I would warn, that we as a nation are all “Under a severe state of battle shock” and that we need a long stretch of peace before making anymore decisions with other people’s lives. Yes, sometimes, war is unavoidable and brave people take up the task of defending strangers with their bodies and their psyche, but other times, we could hold back, I believe.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder presses hard against the tightly knitted love of families and friends, and the strain is sometimes too hard to bear. Yes, many endure, but at what price? The human mind does not heal itself by constantly dodging those who aim to end it. It’s simply not natural.


Haiken, Melanie. "Suicide Rate Among Vets and Active Duty Military Jumps - Now 22 A Day." <i>Forbes</i>. Forbes Magazine, 5 Feb. 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. &lt;;.


Monday, April 27, 2015


Title: Neophyte’s Tale

Author: CK Dawn

Publication Date: May, 2015


Abbey Thorne hears voices. Well, one voice repeating one word, over and over again. Soft and sweet with the promise of power, it calls to her. The twelve-year-old has no idea that the tender little word is actually a catalyst that serves to reveal a world hidden to most humans. Abbey has yet to discover that following the word’s call to its origin will change the course of her life forever.


Abbey and her mother don’t have much, and depending on the day, sometimes they don’t even have a roof over their heads. She wants more out of life than just wondering where her next meal will come from. So she shouldn’t be wasting her time daydreaming about going on a selfish quest… or should she? Does she have the strength to leave behind what little she has? Will she have the courage to break through the illusions surrounding her and lift the cloak of shadows?


Author Bio:

Coffee lover, gamer girl, Sci-fi enthusiast, and overall crafty individual, CK Dawn graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Interior Design and a minor in Architecture (I know, right?). Loving to be creative but feeling stifled by invoices, custom orders, and curtain patterns, she decided instead to follow her favorite philosophy: if you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life. So, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... she finally decided to pick one of the stories that had been bouncing around in her head and boom, Cloak of Shadows came to life.

CK lives with the love of her life John, his cat Scout, her cat Hagrid, their mutually adopted and socialized feral kitten Pepper (yes, cats have favorite humans. It's a thing), and their dog Diesel (aka Methane-- Please, don't make her explain).

She credits her mother for the strong independent woman she is, her father for her inner peace and beautiful outlook on life, and the summers of sweaty, manual labor on her grandparents' farm for her strong work ethic.

In writing, CK has truly found her bliss. Stay tuned, because there will be a lot more to come in her Netherwalker series. Seriously, things have only just begun.



Author Links:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook Twitter |Amazon

Organized by Good Tales Book Tours at



Sunday, April 26, 2015



SILENT SYMMETRY is first in EMBODIED series, a very contemporary YA series with an unusual storyline. When Kari Marriner and her log-widowed mother move unexpectedly from quiet Lancaster, Wisconsin, to "the high life" in Manhattan, neither expects sinister reasons or ulterior motives. But as Mom starts her new oxymoronic career, and Kari enrolls at an expensive, upscale, prep school where some of the students and staff resemble alien robots, it quickly becomes clear that what is too good to be true may indeed be true but never beneficial.


I really recommend this series (be sure to commence with Book 1 so you don't miss out), which is engrossing and so imaginative. It's a YA series, but I believe older readers can enjoy it just as much. 

Following the truly earth-shattering events of her stay in Manhattan, young Kari Marriner, now orphaned, returns to her home city of Lancaster, Wisconsin, determined to forge on. I've seldom read a heroine more intrepid. Of course, forging on is so much more difficult when you have to deal with grief, universe-destroying aliens, universe-preserving aliens, and being a stranger in your home town.

Saturday, April 25, 2015



I really enjoyed this engrossing mystery, with its strong root of sibling bonding, and its riveting setting in Mumbai, India, a setting new to me but nevertheless exciting. When June's sister Thalia disappears in Mumbai, June moves heaven and earth to locate her. Of course, the answers are neither simple nor easily discovered, but June is nothing if not perseverant to save her beloved sibling.

Review: DARK FATHER by James Cooper

Review: DARK FATHER by James Cooper

Now this is some extraordinary horror--definitely a Best of its Year--2014. The convolutions are continuous, but the switches between sets are seamless and the depths of the psyche are incredible. The horror is horrifying, sincerely disturbing--I couldn't turn away and I couldn't get enough! What a writer!

Review: CHIMERA by N. J. Tanger (Universe Eventual #1)

Review:   CHIMERA by N. J. Tanger [Universe Eventual Book 1]

CHIMERA is just perfect YA science fiction: it reads smoothly, it kept me turning the pages, eager to see what happened next, it's written understandably [granted, I've been reading science fiction with glee for more than 5.5 decades; but a reader brand-new to Sci fi can walk into this novel and totally enjoy!]. What I also admire so much is the big human questions--including the proposition that no matter how distant humans travel, no matter how many generations pass on a new planet--some things never change, including human nature. I can't wait to read Book 2.

Review: OPEN YOUR EYES (THE MISSING #1) by Joanne Clancy

Review: OPEN YOUR EYES by Joanne Clancy

Dublin Detective George Ellis has lived a difficult life from the very beginning. In the NIGHT KILLER series [I SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU and BEFORE I'M GONE], he faced shocking news that upended his life. Now circumstances are even worse: his second wife has given up on him, he's being blackmailed; and someone he shouldn't know has been abducted--someone who knows some of George's secrets. OPEN YOUR EYES is an electrifying suspense mystery, with constant surprises and shocks, not to be missed.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: THE NIBELUNG GOLD by Koos Verkaik

Review: THE NIBELUNG GOLD by Koos Verkaik

An exciting adventure into a seldom-addressed topic, 19th century Spiritism in Amsterdam. I've read much on Spiritualism and Spiritism in Britain and America in the 19th century (it is, in fact, one of my favorite subjects to the explore), but I wasn't familiar with it as practiced in Holland. In THE NIBELUNG GOLD, Spiritism is as popular a practice among the Amsterdam wealthy as celebrity worship by the masses is in contemporary culture. 

  Wolf and his partner Jacob are explorers of the unknown and occult, very skillful at uncovering fraud and identifying actual phenomena. But even for such experienced paranormal investigators, the possibility exists of encountering phenomena well beyond their ken.

Review: LOST AND FOUND by Jeff LaFerney

Available now in Print
Kindle Release April 29 2015

Review: LOST AND FOUND by Jeff LaFerney

Author Jeff LaFerney heads in a new direction with this tale of World War II and it's consequences even seventy years in the future. It's common "knowledge" of the Nazi plundering of art, artifacts, treasures, and gold. In this story, Jewish heritage is preserved by a furniture-maker, and shipped to Cuba and then the U.S, with his son, newly released from the horrendous concentration camp, Dachau. War, emigration, and fear, have a way of both altering memory and interfering with information transmission, so not unexpectedly this heritage remains forgotten until the present day.

Mr. LaFerney weaves a mighty tale, heartwrenching and horrifying, yet heartwarming and enlightening. I'm anticipating his next direction.

Review: LOST AND FOUND by Jeff LaFerney

Review: LOST AND FOUND by Jeff LaFerney

Author Jeff LaFerney heads in a new direction with this tale of World War II and it's consequences even seventy years in the future. It's common "knowledge" of the Nazi plundering of art, artifacts, treasures, and gold. In this story, Jewish heritage is preserved by a furniture-maker, and shipped to Cuba and then the U.S, with his son, newly released from the horrendous concentration camp, Dachau. War, emigration, and fear, have a way of both altering memory and interfering with information transmission, so not unexpectedly this heritage remains forgotten until the present day.

Mr. LaFerney weaves a mighty tale, heartwrenching and horrifying, yet heartwarming and enlightening. I'm anticipating his next direction.

Review: THE MIDNIGHT SIDE by Natasha Mostert

Review:  THE MIDNIGHT SIDE by Natasha Mostert

THE MIDNIGHT SIDE is deep, spooky, and gratifying. The author seamlessly entertwines the South African backdrop, with its climate, vegetation and wildlife, and its millennia-old spirituality, with contemporaneous London: crowded, busy, urban, and with medieval alchemy, a particular interest--nay, obsession, of the late Alette. Indeed, both Alchemy and African religious belief thrum throughout the novel with an undeniable drumming pulse. This is a deeply psychological story which refuses to give up its secrets too easily, neither to its characters nor to its readers; but readers will close the book breathing a sigh of satisfaction at a story very well done.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Trailer!: THE FAR END OF HAPPY by Kathryn Craft



The Far End of Happy is a powerful new novel based on author Kathryn Craft’s personal experience with a stand-off involving her husband.  Here Craft delivers “real, raw emotion” (Library Journal) exploring a marriage unraveled by mental illness; and one man’s spiral towards a violent conclusion that tests the courage, love, and hope of the three women he leaves behind.

When the emotionally troubled Jeff engages police in a deadly stand-off, his wife, mother-in-law, and mother struggle to understand why the man they love has turned his back on the life they have given him, the one they all believe is still worth living.

“Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning (Library Journal).” Narrating from the alternating perspectives of three women, whose lives will be forever altered by Jeff Farnham, gives an intimate look at the steps a woman will take to get the help her husband so urgently needs while desperately trying to keep her children safe.


A former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged in the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.

The Far End of Happy was born from Craft’s need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author ofThe Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.


TOUR: TRAVELS WITH PENNY by David Alan Morrison

A Good Tales Book Tour

Title: Travels with Penny
David Alan Morrison
Publication Date: 
April 2015

Two things flashed through my mind when I opened the door to the sex shop to find my mother standing in front of the display case talking to a tall salesman wearing a leather harness, jock strap and a dog collar. The first was, "Oh, crap." The second was, "I hate when Dad's right."

Following the sudden death of his father, a single, middle-aged gay guy struggles with his own mortality be reminiscing about the travels with his gregarious mother. It is a look at the transformation of the baffling, complex relationship between children and their parents.


Purchase Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


Author Bio:

Dave Morrison (CI & CT, NIC-A, SC:L, NAD-5). Dave received his A.A. in ASL/ENG Interpreting from L.A. Pierce College in 1989. In 2000, he obtained his M.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Kentucky. He has interpreted in a variety of venues, from the courtroom to funerals to underwater conservation forums. As an actor, he has been seen on stage, TV and film. He is currently an adjunct instructor of Drama at Skagit Valley College and works with local theatres as a director, actor and instructor.

 Author Links:

FacebookTwitter | Website




If the far-out, rip-roaring reader's hook hasn't clued you to the hilarious, uproarious nature of this travelogue-memoir, then you must be reading with your eyes closed and your heart on mute. The no-holds-barred journey of a long-suffering gay male and his unusual mother is also a narrative of culture shock [note: Kentucky is not the only state consistently mangling city pronunciations] but also of a virtual coming of age. Either way, hilarious and touching!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


The Yellow Hoods Series:

As the Yellow Hoods series starts, we see a pastoral world on the brink of a great change. Steam-based and other technologies are emerging, hence the genre “Emergent Steam Punk”. But this is written in the tradition of hard science fiction– you will find no gratuitous gears here. In the series, Adam Dreece masterfully weaves together familiar elements from fairy tales with realistic characters, bringing them to life. Here we meet the Nikolas Klaus: a kind of fusion of Santa Claus and Nikola Tesla and his granddaughter, young Tee who evokes Little Red Riding Hood but with the force of personality of a Katniss (Hunger Games) or Buffy (aka the Vampire Slayer). You may laugh and you may cry, but I guarantee you will enjoy the ride.


Title: Along Came a Wolf (Bk 1)
Series: The Yellow Hoods
Author: Adam Dreece
Publication Date:  April 14, 2014

Someone is on the hunt for the steam engine plans, and believes that master inventor, Nikolas Klaus, has them. Thought dead by most, and forgotten by many, the quiet grandfather has been living for years in the sleepy mountain town of Minette, keeping his inventions mostly to himself and watching his granddaughter grow up.

Twelve-year-old Tee, and her two best friends, Elly and Richy, come together as the heroic Yellow Hoods in the face of life threatening danger. Whose side are the Cochon brothers on, and will they tip the balance? Will Nikolas’ ties to one of the secret societies cost him Tee’s life?


 Title: Breadcrumb Trail (Bk 2)
Series: The Yellow Hoods
Author: Adam Dreece
Publication Date: August 18, 2014

In an act of desperation, inventor Maxwell Watt sends his teenage son to Nikolas Klaus with the secret plans for his steam engine. The Fare, a nefarious secret society, learns of the game-changing invention and accelerate their timeline to neutralize Klaus and reclaim control over the kingdoms.

While wars spark to the south, children in Mineau have started to go missing–again. Captain Archambault suspects the return of the Ginger Lady. With the help of the Yellow Hoods and their friends, the search is on to find the missing children before it is too late.

What is the secret that ties the Yellow Hoods to the Ginger Lady? Who are the Red Hoods really?


Title: All the King’s Men (Bk 3)
Series: The Yellow Hoods
Author: Adam Dreece
Publication Date: To be Released on April 15th!!

More than a hundred years ago, a king declared that all geniuses, scientists and inventors were abominations, save for those willing to become his Conventioneers. His edict spread like wildfire through the kingdoms, and drove the hunted into the arms of the secret societies, the Tub and the Fare.

Decades later, having taken control of the remains of the crushed Fare, a young Marcus Pieman follows up on rumors of a homeless, teenage Abominator in his city. When the scared Nikolas Klaus looked up at Marcus for the first time, a tremendous bond was forged.

A betrayal leads Tee to a showdown with her greatest foe. Who breaks and who lays bleeding in the middle of nowhere?

And Mounira learns the truth about the once great inventor, Christophe Creangle.



 Goodreads | Amazon | The Yellow Hoods Store | Author Website

(For Each Individual Book)
Book 1 - Along Came A Wolf:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon.caB&N
Book 2 - Breadcrumb Trail: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon.caB&N
Book 3 - All The King's Men: Goodreads | Amazon (preorder)


Author Bio:

Adam Dreece burst onto the young adult fiction scene in 2014. His debut novel, Along Came a Wolf, hit the shelves in April, launching what is now the bestselling series The Yellow Hoods. Book Two, Breadcrumb Trail, quickly followed in September, locking in Dreece's status as a force to be reckoned with. Now Book Three, All the King’s-Men, is about to be released and is expected to take its place on the Amazon and Calgary Herald Best Seller Lists, alongside its predecessors.

For twenty-five years Adam had written stories and set them aside, including a memoir covering his battle with terrible scar pain and then being hit with severe asthma. He’d always given the priority and focus to his technical career. In January 2015, he became a full time author.

Adam’s a devoted husband and father of three great kids. Though driven, he ensures there is always time for his family, fans, and fellow authors. With his tween daughter as his muse and the first to hear the rough drafts, it’s no surprise that he’s a huge proponent of strong female characters, something very clear in The Yellow Hoods.


Author Links:

Twitter | Website



I'll be reviewing all 4 books shortly; watch for my reviews!